Peru Guide Costs! What's fair?

Old May 23rd, 2012, 11:14 AM
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Peru Guide Costs! What's fair?

Hello!
I am gathering info on tour guides for a variety of things while in Peru.
I'm wondering if anyone has recent info on average/fair rates for guides on the following....

1) Driver/taxi from the airport in Cusco to Olly? So far I've found about$45-50 USD

2) Guide for Machu Picchu? I've been told around $60USD for a private guide.. But then I also read on a website you can hire a private guide when you reach the entrance of MP for $20? Does anyone know if that is true?

3) Private guide for Sacred Valley. I've been told a full day tour is about $70 USD

4) Driver from Olly - Stopping in Pisac -- drop off in Cusco. I've seen $90 USD.


I don't mind paying fair rates.. It just sucks to book something and then find out the price was jacked up.

Thank you!
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 11:28 AM
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1) driver/taxi regular car is about $40 to $70. from airport to Olly. A minivan will cost you a bit more.
2) A private professional guide for MP is about $60 or $70. for 2 to 3 hours only. You can hire guides at the MP gate but might be $20. to $30. You can inquire at your hotel in AC.
3)Yes, a professional guide does charge $70. but you will need transport.
4)driver without guide will cost you $120. to $130. If someone wants to do it for $90. then you are lucky and might be bad service.

I think people want everything so very cheap because they are in Peru. You don't seem to understand the cost of gas and the routes that they have to take. If you go to Pisac he has to drive all the way up to the ruins and wait for you for at least an hour then drive back down and wait for you to visit the market. Then drive you all the way to Cusco. Remember it is time and gasoline and service. You get what you pay for.
Good luck.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 11:35 AM
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Thanks for your help waylluy.

So the guides at MP gate are $20-$30 an hour? for 2-3 hours as well?.. Just wondering what makes up the price difference.. between those guides and the ones who are $60-70?

I don't expect things to be cheap. And as mentioned I'm more than willing to pay fair price and tip well for good service. It's just no one likes being taken advantage of, so it's nice to have an idea in advance of what to expect.
Thank you
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 03:17 PM
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I think people want not to be ripped off and to not pay the gringo tax. If you book your taxis and guides separately and by yourself, you are not paying commissions or kickbacks to travel agents or hotels. There are fairly standard rates for taxis between two places with a Spanish speaking driver. When you add an English speaking guide for a full day, you can expect to add $70 or $100 a day for the privelege of hiring them for a full day.

Some of the taxi fares I was recently quoted
Pisac to Ollantaytambo with perhaps a quick stop in Chinchero (but not to Moray or the Salineras) 130 to 190 Soles (not $$). I wound up taking the bus to Urubamba and then a combi to Ollantaytambo. This is cheap and easy to do but of course you would not be stopping along the way.

Ollantaytambo to Cusco with no stops 70 Soles, this goes over the Chinchero road which is beautiful. You can stop for a few photos but if you want time to see Chinchero it should cost more for waiting time.

Taxi from bottom of Pisac town to the top 20 Soles per taxi. You can walk down and find a new taxi rather than paying someone to wait for you. A few years ago I think it was $50 USD for half a day Cusco Pisac Cusco.

You will pay more for an airport pickup because they are waiting for you with a sign. So if you are comfortable with just going outside and hiring a taxi it will be much less.

The travel agents like you to think that the Sacred Valley is a very dangerous place. They do not want you booking your own taxis because they lose their commission.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:48 PM
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Great info mlgb! It helps a lot.
Thank you
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Old May 25th, 2012, 12:29 AM
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All great stuff above. I do not wish to be alarmist but would only add that you do need to be careful with taxis. Make sure that the driver is aware that you have booked the whole car and do not allow him to pick up other passengers along the way (no matter how innocent it might seem). This does happen a lot and indeed, this is the norm in Peru, but there have been a mumber of incidents where there have been problems, some serious, in the past. Make sure that your doors are locked when driving in and out of Cusco as some of the suburbs are not safe.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for the tips crellston. Never hurts to clarify and to be safe.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 03:53 PM
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Any taxi driver in Cusco is knowledgable about the main arqueological sites, most of them speak good English with other accent but it is pretty understandable, do not wait to be told a story but at least read before you go so you know the history of the sites you want to visit. Generally a taxi driver will charge from the main plaza to three or four sites around 35 dollars if you are one or two, and if you are three or four can increase a little bit.
Taxi drivers know everything and can help you a lot if you want to find an affordable place to stay, a good restaurant. Do a lot of reading before you go though. If you need more help, please ask and I will post more.
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